I’ve lived with this condition since I was 16; Fibromyalgia.
And I can bet that the one thing I found that helped me cope will surprise you. It’s not a massage, and it’s not food. It’s talking about what I’m experiencing without shame or guilt. If you do nothing else for yourself when you have chronic pain and fatigue, do this.
Human beings connect through dialogue that matters to us, dialogue that allows us to express what we think and feel and what’s happening in our lives. We want to share experiences and connect with each other through these experiences. So when you have chronic fatigue and pain and you feel like you can’t talk about it, you build walls around yourself and create an environment of endless isolation. Before I started to speak up about what I was going through, I felt completely disconnected and isolated. Because I wasn’t able to share the biggest, most impactful thing that was happening in my life. And that made coping with the pain impossible.
Once I started to talk about it with the people closest to me, it began to rebuild those bridges.
The more I talked about it, the more I accepted what was happening, because saying something out loud without letting yourself be shamed for it, is incredibly powerful. For me, it took away a lot of power from fibromyalgia and was a key part of healing pain. This won’t happen overnight. It will take some time for you to become ok with being open about what’s really going on. Just start by finding someone in your life that will listen and gently but unapologetically describe what you’re going through. This person needs to be compassionate and patient with you.
For me, I started with my mom. She was my sole confidant for many years. Then, I connected with a woman who has Lupus and Crohn’s. We bonded together over our pain and thanks to texting we can reach each other at a moment’s notice. We let each be mad, be sad, celebrate wins, and everything else that happens in life. Find that one person that you can just be yourself with, without shame or judgment.
When you approach this pain without shame or guilt, you will experience a feeling of greater freedom and take back some control over your pain.